Narrative Dynamics: Essays on Time, Plot, Closure, and Frames

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Brian Richardson, James Phalen, Peter Rabinowitz
Ohio State University Press, 2002 - 399 ˹
This anthology brings together essential essays on major facets of narrative dynamics, that is, the means by which "narratives traverse their often unlikely routes from beginning to end." It includes the most widely cited and discussed essays on narrative beginnings, temporality, plot and emplotment, sequence and progression, closure, and frames. The text is designed as a basic reader for graduate courses in narrative and critical theory across disciplines including literature, drama and theatre, and film. Narrative Dynamics includes such classic exponents as E. M. Forster on story and plot; Vladimir Propp on the structure of the folktale; R. S. Crane on plot; Boris Tomashevsky on story, plot, and, motif; M. M. Bakhtin on the chronotope; and Gerard Genette on narrative time. Richardson highlights essential feminist essays by Nancy K. Miller on plot and plausibility, Rachel Blau Duplessis on closure, and Susan Winnett on narrative and desire. These are complimented by newer pieces by Susan Stanford Friedman on spatialization and Robyn Warhol on serial fiction. Other major contributions include Edward Said on beginnings, Hayden White on historical narrative, Peter Brooks on plot, Paul Ricoeur on time, D. A. Miller on closure, James Phelan on progression, and Jacques Derrida on the frame. Recent essays from the perspective of cultural studies, postmodernism, and artificial intelligence bring this collection right up to the present.

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Narrative Time
35
PLOT
64
The Argument of Comedy
102
Narrative Desire
130
NARRATIVE SEQUENCING
159
Text Generation
179
The Historical Text as Literary Artifact
191
Narrative Progression
211
The Sense of a Beginning
267
Endings and Contradictions
282
Reading Beginnings and Endings
300
Aesthetic Closure and Social Crisis
314
NARRATIVE FRAMES
329
Narrative Levels and Embedded Narrative
339
The Parergon
354
Stacks Frames and Boundaries
366

A Strategy for Reading Narrative
217
How Serial Form Works
229
BEGINNINGS AND ENDS
249
Beginnings
256
Bibliography
387
Suggested Further Reading
395
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